Bushfires in the north-east Perth Hills region have so far destroyed 81 homes, with insurers receiving over 270 claims worth $40m

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a catastrophe for the Perth Hills bushfires which continues to burn north-east of Perth.

The declaration is for communities in the north-east Perth Hills region affected by the bushfires that have been burning since Monday, and have destroyed 81 homes, sheds and kilometres of farm fences.

Insurers have received more than 270 claims and estimated loss value is over $40m, this is expected to rise over the coming days as residents return to their homes.

Insurers have initiated their natural disaster response by mobilising local assessors and claims specialists, with more responders on stand-by to support affected communities under Western Australia’s essential worker guidelines. Insurers will move their teams into affected communities as soon as emergency services declare it safe to do so.

The ICA deployed their natural disaster response specialist to Perth earlier this week to meet with state and local government agencies, emergency services, and impacted property and business owners.

ICA CEO Andrew Hall said affected property and business owners should contact their insurer as soon as possible to start the claims process.

“The declaration of a catastrophe means claims from these bushfires will be prioritised by insurers, who will be focusing on reducing the immense emotional and financial stress experienced by residents, farmers and businesses,” Hall said.

“The ICA will provide guidance to impacted communities throughout the recovery process.”